ProRail and Thales sign axle counter contract for ERTMS

December 07, 2021

The introduction of the signalling system ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) is accompanied by a number of extensive tenders; one of them is the tender for the Generic Axle Counter System for ERTMS, abbreviated GAST-ERTMS. On Tuesday 7 December, ProRail and Thales signed the contract.

After successful development, Thales may supply axle counting systems for new ERTMS railway lines for a maximum of eight years. It is expected that during that period more than 600 kilometres of track will be equipped with ERTMS and the GAST-ERTMS axle counting system. The last delivery of axle counters is expected in 2032, followed by 25 years of maintenance services. The contract value is a maximum of 100 million euros.

“Until recently, ERTMS was a dot on the horizon. I'm glad we're moving forward now. Preparations for the introduction are now in full swing. At ProRail, we are happy to work for this together with and for the rail sector. With the contract for the axle counting system, we are taking another great step on the path to tomorrow.” John Voppen, CEO ProRail

What does ERTMS do and what are axle counters?

ProRail will replace the current ATB system with the digital signalling system ERTMS, the European standard in signalling. A large number of new axle counters are required for the roll-out of ERTMS. An axle counting system is a modern form of train detection; the system counts the number of wheel axles of trains entering and leaving a section and thus determines whether a section is free of trains (no axles in the section) or occupied.

“Safety is the common thread in all our solutions. We are proud that with our axle counters we contribute to the safety of the Dutch railways. With the digitisation of the railways and the increasing congestion on the tracks, ERTMS is indispensable.” John Alfrink, General Manager Thales Huizen

About ProRail

ProRail is responsible for the maintenance, renewal, expansion and safety of the Dutch railway network. As an independent party, it distributes the space on 7,000 kilometres of track, regulates all train traffic (1.4 million journeys per working day) and builds and manages stations.

About Thales the Netherlands

Thales the Netherlands is part of the international Thales Group. More than 2,200 employees work on the development, production and integration of high-tech systems. Think of radar, command & control, public transport chip card, communication systems and cybersecurity for defence, transport and security.